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Saturday
Nov262016

Clinton Campaign to 'Participate' in Recount Efforts, General Counsel Says

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Hillary Clinton's campaign broke its silence on general election recount efforts in three battleground states on Saturday-- saying it will "participate" in the effort spearheaded by Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

President-elect Donald Trump called Stein's recount efforts "ridiculous" and "a scam by the Green Party," in a statement released Saturday that did not make any reference to the Clinton campaign's new involvement.

"This recount is just a way for Jill Stein, who received less than one percent of the vote overall and wasn’t even on the ballot in many states, to fill her coffers with money, most of which she will never even spend on this ridiculous recount," Trump said. "This is a scam by the Green Party for an election that has already been conceded, and the results of this election should be respected instead of being challenged and abused, which is exactly what Jill Stein is doing."

Clinton campaign general counsel Marc Elias posted an open letter on Medium acknowledging that the campaign has received "hundreds of messages, emails and calls" in recent days urging it to investigate whether results may have been hacked in key battleground states.

Elias said the campaign has "quietly taken a number of steps" to analyze the integrity of the election, but has not found "any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology."

Still, Elias said the campaign has an obligation to the people who voted for Clinton to send legal representation to any court proceedings and have a presence where any recount efforts might take place.

That will begin in Wisconsin, where Stein met the deadline Friday to file a petition for a recount with the state's elections commission.

Stein and the Green Party said Friday they raised more than $4 million in three days to support recount efforts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, three key battleground states where Trump narrowly defeated Clinton.

Stein has maintained her activities are in no way intended to benefit Clinton, whom she leveled strong criticisms against during the 2016 election.

The White House declined comment when contacted by ABC News about the recount. A senior administration official said, regarding the overall assessment of the elections integrity, there did not appear to be any malicious activity by cyber actors.

"The Federal government did not observe any increased level of malicious cyber activity aimed at disrupting out electoral process on election day," the official said. "As we have noted before, we remained confident in the overall integrity of electoral infrastructure, a confidence that was borne out on election day. As a result, we believe our elections were free and fair from a cybersecurity perspective."

The Trump transition team has so far declined any official comment on the efforts underway.

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway mocked the news Thursday in a tweet noting the controversy prior to the election in which Democrats raised concerns over Trump's promise to keep voters "in suspense" if the election results were unfavorable to him.

In his Medium post, Elias pointed out Democratic voters' concerns are partially related to the government's recognition of Russian state actors hacking into the Democratic National Committee and personal email accounts of staff on the Clinton campaign. Trump has not officially recognized Russia's role in the hacks despite his interactions with intelligence officials in classified briefings available to him.

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